While Lifebloom remains one of the most powerful spells at a Druid's disposal, its regimented timing causes many players to complain that they find Tree of Life healing mind-numbingly boring. While other healers need only watch health bars, a Tree has to also watch — and allocate screen real estate to — HoT timers (the nerf to trinketed Lifebloom will at least have the benefit of making the loss of a Lifebloom stack less grievous). However, effective utilization of the other spells in a Tree's repertoire (Rejuvenation, Regrowth, and Swiftmend) can help make fights less monotonous by increasing the amount of decision-making necessary to succeed. Reader Bigtoy of Cho'gall (US) generously sent in the following tips for leveraging Tree of Life and its respective spells under different raid conditions:
Tree Tactics In order to be effective, Lifebloom needs to be renewed every six seconds. This means that a Tree can cast three spells from the first Lifebloom to when they need to renew the Lifebloom again. Depending on the situation various patterns are more useful or less useful. Here's a rundown of some of the basic templates you'll run into.
Multiple Tanks (FLK, most 25-man trash pulls) Cast Cycle: LB Tank A, LB Tank B, LB Tank C, LB Tank D. Stack Lifebloom on every tank and keep them rolling and triple-stacked. Could not be more boring or more effective.
Two Simultaneous Tanks (Crystalcore Devestators in TK, 10-man trash) Cast Cycle: LB Tank A, LB Tank B, Rejuv Tank [A or B], Free GCD Keep Lifebloom and Rejuvenation on both tanks. There should be one GCD cooldown available in the cycle that should be reserved for aggressive use of Swiftmend (when possible) or NS/HT (if necessary) without letting the Lifebloom stacks fall off. Note that keeping Rejuvenation up can be swapped out for healing the raid in a 10-man setting.
Save the AoE! (casters during Murlocs, Solarian adds in phase 2, non-elite trash packs) Cast Cycle: Rejuv Caster A, Rejuv Caster B, Rejuv Caster C, etc. This is an exercise in the power of Swiftmend. When the AoE is about to begin, start throwing Rejuvenation on all potential aggro targets (Mages/Warlocks). Usually one of them pulls ahead, pulls aggro and needs healing fast. Swiftmend the Rejuvenation to provide instant healing and a chance for the FoL/LHW/FH to land.
Single Tank Support/Raid Heal (10-man instances, Akil'Zon) Cast Cycle: LB Tank, [Rejuv Tank or Insect Swarm Boss], [Rejuv or LB DPS/Healer] x2 In 10-man instances, the best use of a Tree is to support the main tank with a triple Lifebloom stack and heal the raid. Rejuvenation and Insect Swarm (if the tank wants it, not all do depending on rage needs); both have 12-second durations, which means that alternating them after the renewing Lifebloom means they will always be up. Two GCDs remain in the cycle, which are best used healing the raid. Lifebloom is easily the most efficient topping spell, especially in a 10-man setting where it is less likely to be healed over. But generally I like to use Rejuvenation as it heals for more and allows for a Swiftmend emergency if something goes awry.
Note that this is also what I do on single tank fights in 25-man content. Raid healing is a lot weaker in 25-mans since Chain Heal/Paladins will usually overwrite your HoTs, but a Rejuvenation never hurts and during frantic periods (ex. Vashj, Morogrim phase 2) it provides valuable insurance.
Alternating Tanks (Hydross, Nalorakk, VR) Cast Cycle: Icky Easily our worst situation as trees, as we're given two bad choices. Either we waste mana and GCDs keeping Lifebloom on both tanks all the time, or we ramp up Lifebloom on the switch where we spent 5 seconds doing crappy healing when healing is needed most. The first rule is to first get Rejuvenation up before Lifebloom, so you can Swiftmend if something goes wrong. The second rule is to look at the fight/raid. Is it a 10-man raid where you are responsible for raid healing? Is it a 25-man raid with lots of support? Are the transfers unpredictable? Get a feel for the fight and the raid composition and figure it out. All else being equal, you cannot go wrong keeping Rejuvenation on all possible tank targets, and cycling Lifebloom on the newest target.
General Tree Tips:
Regarding Regrowth With 2/5 Tier 5 and Improved Regrowth talent, it's actually not that bad of a spell to use efficiency-wise, though it will never be a bread and butter spell. Don't be afraid to put it on a single tank fight and let it tick for 27 seconds. It's also a better choice to use as a fast raid heal in 10-man raids than Rejuvenation/Swiftmend, though due to the VERY long HoT period it's best used where there is recurring damage (ex. Eagle boss in Zul'Aman).
Grave Healing Druids make shockingly good grave healers on Morogrim. If they come in topped off, hit each graved individual with a single Lifebloom and Rejuvenation, they'll be topped off by the time they make it back up. If they come in hurt, blow Nature's Swiftness first, Regrowth second, and Rejuvenation/Swiftmend third. Also sometimes you can try and cheat over to help heal the AoE, though be careful that a grave doesn't catch you way out of position.
Zul'jin Healing Regrowth is the ONLY spell you should use during Eagle phase: good cast time and strong total heal while allowing for Swiftmend. Scatter Rejuvenation during the Dragonhawk phase to Swiftmend spike damage from Holy Fire. For Lynx phase the best usage is Regrowth/Swiftmend during the burst damage (for a two second, 5k heal).
As a member of a guild just beginning our progress into Zul'Aman and SSC (we downed Lurker for the first time last week), I'm sure that I will benefit from this advice. As I believe that many readers are in a similar place progression-wise, I hope that some of you will, too! Have any additional raid-specific tips you'd like to share? Please feel free to comment.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.